We were heading down the Sound of Mull today so a gentle start and follow the tide. We motored out through the narrows into Loch Sunnart and unfurled the sails – not much wind forecast so everything out. Within seconds were are screaming away, the light increases rapidly and we quickly reef both sails. The sun is out and stays out until mid-afternoon and we have an exhilarating beat down the Sound.
Just opposite Salen we see a motorboat charging up the Sound towards Tobermory – as they pass I see its Dougie and Mary out in Zest but despite lots of reciprocal waving they don’t recognise us. I think of calling them on the VHF but they are quickly a disappearing speck and let them race on to Tobermory in peace.
All the way down the sound we have been accompanied by another boat and as we reach Lochaline we start passing mid-channel on opposite tacks. Then a third boat, a 56 footer appears – pointing very well and outpacing us both.
Just after Lismore and porpoises the wind drops away and with the tide just turned we turn on the engine to make it to Spelve. Martin once again gets a soaking as we decide the fully furl the main just as a heavy squall comes through – our first and last rain of the day until we drop anchor.
As we come through the narrows into Spelve we see a pair of sea eagles above the cliffs and again pass Croggan to head to the south end of the loch. The wind will be everything from SE to W tonight and this gives us perfect protection in what we know from our May visit is good holding.
Just after Croggan we see a large herd of cattle ranging from a massive bull, cows and calves – all walking determinedly, single file along the road to Kinlochspelve and giving no quarter at all to the odd passing car. We motor on and anchor at the loch head, getting soaked in the process as a short shower coincides precisely with the drop – we stand around on deck like cormorants drying in the sun and brisk wind that immediately follows.
An hour or so ( and several miles) later to the sound of much lowing the cattle turn up. Reaching the loch head they leave the road and walk around the loch head wading across several deep streams with young calves leaping through the water and racing to keep up. After an hour or so grazing on the hillside above they all turn around and start heading back as dusk falls. All very strange.
Kirs in the cockpit then broad bean risotto with an excellent Prager Rieslling Smaragd from Martin followed by cheese and a NZ pinot from Central Otago (Penguin Sands).